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TOR@TEX: Buehrle shuts down Rangers for third win

The Twins will travel to Toronto to take on the Blue Jays in a three-game set beginning on Friday at Rogers Centre.

It's the second of four consecutive series against American League East clubs for Minnesota. After taking on the Blue Jays, the Twins will face the Rays in St. Petersburg, then the Yankees -- who just swept them -- in New York as the season's first half concludes.

The series at Rogers Centre features two teams that have scuffled of late. The Twins have dropped five in a row, including their last four to the Yankees at Target Field.

"You want to win all the time, regardless of what's been going on the last week," Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe said. "So that's our mentality and is going to be our mentality until the end. We're a better team than we've been showing the last week or so."

Toronto, meanwhile, is trying to get back to the form it displayed in its red-hot mid-June streak. The Blue Jays have faltered since their 11-game win streak ended, losing eight of 11 games since June 24.

During their surge, the Blue Jays outscored their opponents, 70-27. Since then, they have been outscored, 57-41.

Mark Buehrle will take the mound for Toronto opposite the Twins' Kevin Correia.

Lineups have turned over through the years, but Buehrle is very familiar with the Twins from his time on the South Side of Chicago. He's had particular success against left-handed hitters Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau.

Most of Buehrle's matchups with the two sluggers came while he was a member of the White Sox, but the southpaw has limited Mauer to 12 hits in 56 at-bats (.214). Morneau is just 11-for-55 (.200) against Buehrle.

"He's kind of found that groove," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Buehrle. "He was on a nice little roll for a while ... but I think historically he's been a slow starter. Once it kicks in around May, he just rolls it. He just competes. Good, bad -- he just competes. That's what you want them all to do. He doesn't give in to anything. Generally, he keeps you in the game, and that's all you can ask."

Twins: Correia hopes to snap streak
• The Twins will turn to their most consistent starter, Kevin Correia, to attempt to snap their losing streak.

The right-hander was on the mound when the skid began on Sunday and took a no-decision against the Royals. He pitched five innings and allowed five runs on seven hits in a game the Twins lost, 9-8. The right-hander walked three and struck out three, seeing his ERA rise to 4.08.

Blue Jays: Buehrle making first start since Bailey's second no-no
• Friday will be Buehrle's first start since he welcomed Reds right-hander Homer Bailey to an exclusive club among active pitchers.

With his no-hitter against the Giants on Tuesday, Bailey joined Buehrle, Roy Halladay and Justin Verlander as the only active pitchers with multiple no-hitters.

Buehrle said the outing was impressive, but he wasn't nostalgic about his own accomplishments, which include a perfect game in 2009 while he was with the White Sox.

"It's not like every day, or every once in a while, I just sit there and start thinking about the perfect game or the no-hitter at all," Buehrle said. "I'm just more focused on what's going to happen now, and my next start. I don't really look back in the past."

Worth noting
• Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion is 6-for-19 with two homers in his career against Correia. Shortstop Jose Reyes is 7-for-21 with a homer and a triple. No other Blue Jays hitter has more than nine at-bats against the righty.

• The Twins' first-round pick in last month's First-Year Player Draft, Kohl Stewart, made his professional debut on Thursday. The right-handed pitcher, taken No. 4 overall out of St. Pius X High School in Houston, struck out two while allowing one run on two hits in two innings against the Rays' affiliate in the Gulf Coast League.

• Twins left fielder Josh Willingham underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his left meniscus on Wednesday. He's expected to miss four to six weeks.

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